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Toxics

OMB LANGUAGE IN CANCER GUIDE EASES USE OF NON-LINEAR RISK DATA

The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has inserted language into EPA's cancer guidance that agency sources say will allow regulators to weigh studies justifying lower risk and regulatory levels for some chemicals than EPA currently considers by making it easier to consider so-called non-linear cancer thresholds.

The OMB language allows regulators to consider the alternative studies where there is some scientific support for them even if there is not an overwhelming amount of evidence for the alternatives, according to EPA sources.

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EXPERTS SAY NEW FINDINGS ON PLASTIC CHEMICAL PRESENT EPA CHALLENGES

Science policy experts who are calling on EPA to update its risk assessment of a chemical that is widely used in plastics are also warning that federal regulators may have difficulty setting risk and regulatory limits on this and similar endocrine-active compounds given the complexity of biological responses to the chemicals. One expert says new findings about the chemical's presence in water supplies and landfills may require the agency to revise its waste and drinking water rules.

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OMB LANGUAGE IN CANCER GUIDE EASES USE OF NON-LINEAR RISK DATA

The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has inserted language into EPA's cancer guidance that agency sources say will allow regulators to weigh studies justifying lower risk and regulatory levels for some chemicals than EPA currently considers by making it easier to consider so-called non-linear cancer thresholds.

The OMB language allows regulators to consider the alternative studies where there is some scientific support for them even if there is not an overwhelming amount of evidence for the alternatives, according to EPA sources.

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EPA MAY EXTEND REVIEWS OF TOXICS TO MINIMIZE INTERAGENCY DISPUTES

EPA research managers are considering a plan to dampen interagency conflicts over risk assessments on toxics by extending the process so that quantitative conclusions are released to the public later in the review, agency sources say.

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DTSC RECOMMENDS REPAVING SERPENTINE GRAVEL ROADS DUE TO ASBESTOS RISK

Based on results from a recently released study, the toxics department is recommending that roads covered with serpentine gravel be repaved due to elevated health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos.

The department found that residents living near the roads face an elevated cancer risk. Residents living five feet from a serpentine gravel covered road, exposed to airborne particles 16 hours per day over 70 years of their lives, experience an additional 3 in 1,000 lifetime cancer risk. The risk is reduced the further away humans are from the roads.

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CHEMICAL SUBSTITUTES BILL WITH PRODUCT BANS FACES INDUSTRY BATTLE

A lawmaker's plan to phase out a handful of chemicals and establish a process for state agencies to recommend new phase outs will likely face stiff opposition from chemical makers and other industry groups that have deep concerns with legislatively initiated product bans. But a legislative source said the bill simply builds on efforts already underway by regulatory agencies to phase out certain chemicals, and is a common sense approach to protecting the public from exposure to carcinogens and reproductive toxicants.

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CHEMICAL DETECTION BILL CLEARS FIRST TEST DESPITE STRONG OPPOSITION

A highly controversial bill that aims to require chemical makers to provide the state with analytical methods to detect their compounds in the environment passed its first test this week, but not without attracting significant industry opposition. Proponents hail the bill as a cost-saving "right-to-know" measure, though opponents -- including a former director of Cal/EPA's health hazard office -- contend it will require companies to expend significant amounts of money to provide questionable, and in some cases worthless, data.

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DPR BEGINS 'UNPRECEDENTED' VOC CONTROL EFFORT; ACTIVISTS UNIMPRESSED

The pesticides department has begun an "unprecedented" regulatory effort to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from products it regulates by requiring reevaluation and reformulation of hundreds of chemicals. But environmentalists, who are suing the department over its alleged failure to control VOC emissions from pesticides, say the department's efforts will not go far enough.

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California Chemical Testing Bill Clears First Hurdle Despite Industry Opposition

A controversial bill in California that aims to require chemical makers to provide the state with analytical methods to detect their compounds in the environment passed its first legislative test this week, but not without attracting significant industry opposition.

The legislation would establish a California requirement for chemical testing that on the national level is part of a voluntary initiative under an EPA program to address the most produced chemicals.

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Science Advisers Question EPA Pledge To Monitor Mercury 'Hot Spots'

EPA science advisers are challenging the agency's recent pledge to monitor for potential concentrations of mercury emissions as part of EPA's mercury air rule issued last month, arguing that the agency has no scientific means to track so-called "hot spots" of the contaminant.

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